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Silva Guaranteed Title Shot With Win Over Diaz

Nick Field

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Last Time we saw Anderson Silva step into the Octagon, he was fighting Chris Weidman for the 185 pound strap. He was coming off the most devastating loss of his career, a fight where we saw Weidman knock Silva unconscious. The MMA world was stunned. To many, he was the GOAT, the greatest of all time. He had defended his title a record 10 times, and he was riding a 16 fight win streak. Seeing him drop to the ground and watching his eyes roll back in his head while he got pummeled by Weidman’s viscous follow up shots was a weird sight to see after such a long and dominant title reign. But one single left hook from the challenger put Silva on his ass and ended the historic run. Following the fight, he said he didn’t want a rematch. However UFC President Dana White consistently said “I guarantee you, there is nothing Anderson wants right now more than a rematch.” About a week or so after the fight, Anderson released a short video telling his fans “I back. Trust me, I back.”

The rematch was set for December 28th and the fans couldn’t wait. When the 28th finally came, nobody knew what they were going to see. We didn’t know if Anderson was still going to be, well… Anderson. About halfway through the second round, Anderson threw one of his leg kicks. Weidman checked it perfectly. What happened then, MMA fans will never forget. Weidman’s knee collided directly with Anderson’s shin bone, shattering it. Silva fell to the ground and immediately was absolutely writhing in pain. It was perhaps the most gruesome thing we’ve ever seen in the UFC, and it happened to Anderson Silva. The first thing I said when I realized what happened was, “That’s the last time we’ll ever see him fight.” And I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought that. Within months, he was walking under his own power. And not long after that, videos came out of him kicking with the leg. Not hard, but he was kicking with it. I for one was blown away with how speedy his recovery seemed to be going.

Fast forward another few months and he’s signing a new 15 fight contract with the UFC. Yeah, 15. When it was released that he was going to fight Nick Diaz, who had also just recently signed a new contract. There was a very mixed reaction from the fans. Some didn’t think Diaz deserved Silva in his return fight. He’s lost 2 of his last 3 fights since coming back to the UFC after being the Strikeforce Welterweight champ and beating some top competition over there. For others, like me, this fight was a dream come true.

And now here we are, less than a month from the fight. Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz are set to headline UFC 183 in Las Vegas on January 31st, and Dana White has confirmed that with a win over Nick Diaz, Silva will fight next for the Middleweight title. Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort will fight first at UFC 184 on February 28th to determine who Silva will fight, if he gets past possibly the best athlete to ever come out Stockton, California. On Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight, Dana said, “Diaz and Anderson Silva are fighting, and obviously if Anderson Silva wins that fight, and whether Vitor or Weidman win, then you have Anderson Silva versus either one of those guys,”

Silva obviously lost to Weidman twice in a row, but he also knocked out Vitor via front kick to the face back in 2011. If Silva gets past Diaz, either of these rematches will be very exciting.

Do You Think Diaz has what it takes to take out who many consider to be the greatest mixed martial artist of all time? Does Anderson Silva deserve another shot at the 185 lb. belt with a win over Diaz, who is a natural Welterweight? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

 

 

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Interviews

UFC 219’s Jimmie Rivera to TJ Dillashaw “Defend Your Belt or Vacate.”

Harry Davies

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MMA Latest had the chance to talk to #4 ranked UFC bantamweight Jimmie “El Terror” Rivera ahead of his fight at UFC 219 against John Lineker.

Rivera (21-1) extended his unbeaten run to twenty when he defeated Thomas Almeida at UFC Long Island in July. Originally scheduled to face former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, we began by asking Rivera how the opponent change had affected his preparation for UFC 219.

The only thing that’s changed is the game plan, everything else stays the same. Cruz is more of an irritating fight because he just doesn’t stop moving, but with Lineker, he’s going to stay in the pocket and bang, and I love that.

Recently, Rivera posted a video to his Twitter account of him sparring with the recently crowned bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw. He told us about the context of this video, and how the sparring went down between them.

It was 3 or 4 years back. I think TJ had just lost to (John) Dodson on TUF. My teammate Louis Gaudinot was actually fighting Tim Elliott at the time, and we were in Milwaukee so I got to train with (Urijah) Faber and Dillashaw.

I just sent it to TJ to say, don’t forget what happened. I was getting the best of him, and I don’t really brag about it. But he wants to leave the weight class and fight DJ for the money fight, and I want to fight for the belt, so it’s defend your belt or vacate.

After briefly referencing the potential superfight between Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw, I asked Rivera about his thoughts on the somewhat flawed UFC rankings system, and title fights being put together purely for entertainment value.

It sucks. When I become champ I won’t be like a TJ or McGregor, I’m going to be like Demetrious Johnson and defend my belt against people coming up, it’s the right thing to do. If you want to win the belt and leave the division straight away, it’s kind of bullshit.

Rivera concluded by telling me that although he isn’t looking past Lineker at 219, “the only fight that makes sense after this one, is fighting TJ for the belt.”

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Mark Hunt Returns to Fight Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221

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UFC 221 in Perth has officially added a another Australian to the main card. Joining Robert Whittaker is the knockout legend Mark Hunt.

The Daily Telegraph first reported that Hunt will be stepping into the octagon to face #9 Curtis Blaydes. Some weren’t sure if we would ever see Hunt fight again after he was pulled from the main event in UFC Fight Night 21 against Marcin Tybura. The UFC removed him due to “medical concerns” while Hunt was stating he was perfectly fine.

After getting evaluated and cleared to fight by Australian and American doctors, it looks like his time has come to return.  Hunt’s last fight was back in June when he derailed the Derrick Lewis hype train with a 4th round TKO win.

Hunt had been adamant about calling out #3 ranked heavyweight Fabricio Werdum and trying to get that rematch booked, labelling Werdum a “chicken shit” and a “coward.”

Curtis “Razor” Blaydes who has an 8-1 record, is coming off a TKO victory due to doctor stoppage at UFC 217 in November. Since losing to now title challenger Francis Ngannou in April of 2016, Blaydes has rattled off three straight wins over Alexey Oleynik, Daniel Omielanczuk, and Cody East.

With all this momentum from the win streak, Blaydes looks to capitalize and win the biggest fight of his career against Hunt.

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Valentina Shevchenko vs. Priscila Cachoeira Officially Booked for Belem, Brazil card

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The wait is over. Valentina Shevchenko (14-3, 3-2 UFC) will make her highly anticipated flyweight debut when the UFC returns to Brazil. She will face Priscila Cachoeira (8-0) on the February 3rd card scheduled for Belem, Brazil. Luciana Andrade was the first to report the match-up last week. On Tuesday, the UFC posted an article which stated the bout had been set.

Now that the flyweight tournament is over and the inaugural champion has her crown, many women shall migrate from the strawweight and bantamweight ranks in search of a more suitable weight class. The division is so infantile means a lot moving parts in the rankings. Yet, only women who fought at one hundred and twenty-five lbs. are ranked. Such practices muddy the title picture for the time being. Essentially ruling out the idea of Montano vs. Shevchenko for the first defense of the belt, illogical. An idea that floated around the internet until today’s confirmation of the newest female flyweight match-up. The TUF 26 winner, Nicco Montano called it, “kinda silly”, earlier this week while on The MMA Hour. Montano believes her first title defense, as it stands, should pit her against the original finalist of the flyweight tournament, Sijara Eubanks. Although Eubanks withdrew from the title fight, she is still ranked as the #1 contender in the division.

Shevchenko explained her desire for the flyweight belt on The MMA Hour, a week earlier than Montano, “For me it’s number one, to fight for the title… It doesn’t matter for me, if I have to have one fight before it, okay I will do it… my main goal is to be the champion… It doesn’t matter I move from one thirty-five to one twenty-five. My goal is still the same, to be the champion”. The Russian fighter is coming off an unsuccessful title shot in the bantamweight division against the current reigning champ, Amanda Nunes. The bout went to a decision after close five rounds, Nunes ultimately defeated Shevchenko via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47).

Her opponent, Priscila Cachoeira, is not only new to the UFCs female flyweight division but the promotion’s roster as well. Cachoeira originally was scheduled to make her promotional debut against veteran Lauren Murphy at The Ultimate Fighter Finale 26. The Brazilian fighter withdrew from the bout due to visa issues. As a professional, she is undefeated with four knockouts in her eight fights.

UFC Belem is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018. The card will feature Timothy Johnson vs. Marcelo Golm in the heavyweight division. It will also have Thiago Santos taking on Anthony Smith in the middleweight division.

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